Thorny figs

Oy, we had one of those days around here! Yucky yelling (me), blaming (me), tempers flaring (everyone), complaining (kiddos), disobedience (kiddos), impatience (me), tears (kiddos), and some words to pierce my heart.

H: “Mom, I don’t like when you snap at me.”

ouch.

H: “Mom, you don’t say sorry as often as you say thank you.”

In case you’re wondering, I am not and never will be the record holder for thank yous. Not so subtle, H!

(And J told me that my face was a little swollen “right here…” but it was just my cheekbones. At least we could laugh about that one!)

I kissed and tickled my boys before a late bedtime. But H was hurting and needed to hear a few particular words.

I was wrong.

I’m sorry.

Will you forgive me?

I’m responsible for my own reactions, no matter what you kids do.

Let’s ask God together to help us change.

We prayed. She forgave. We gave 200 kisses and hugs.

Sometimes nasty, nasty things come out of me and sometimes those nasty things don’t bother me one bit. And that’s super nasty to realize: that I’m more than content to be the wicked witch to my children.

After quiet settled on the house, I took a minute to think of what Jesus said about this:

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:43-45).

Instead of complacency, my heart should be grieved to find the filth lurking within. And pray with sincerity, “God! Please grow in me the fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I need You so desperately. How could I hope to change on my own??”

There was one thing left to say to H after she forgave me. “I give you permission to respectfully let me know when I’m not acting the way I should.” I’m pretty sure her piercing words will continue to stop me in my tracks, just as they did this afternoon. And when they do, I’ll plead with God, “Please prune the thorns off my life so I can grow an abundant harvest!”

I can’t grow anything without Him, and as soon as I express my need, I know He smiles in agreement. And oh boy, He certainly can produce a harvest–even from a thorny tree like me!

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